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People are panicking because they can't report identity theft during government shutdown

Citizens are sharing their displeasure about the U.S. government shutdown on social media. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

As the federal government enters its third week of a partial shutdown, many people have taken to social media to voice their displeasure about the state of affairs. With many government agencies closed, Americans are airing their discontent over the inability to report instances of identity theft.

Victims of identity theft attempting to contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the issue online are redirected to a website that says the service isn’t operating.

“Due to the government shutdown, we are unable to offer this website service at this time,” the website reads. “We will resume normal operations when the government is funded.”

This reality did not sit well with many.




 


Reporting identity theft in a timely manner is vital to preventing a scammer from further damaging your accounts.


When the government is funded, IdentityTheft.gov helps victims create an FTC identity theft report by filling out an online form or calling a hotline.

Victims of identity theft are in for a further headache come tax time, as the IRS is also shut down, which prevents victims from obtaining a PIN to file taxes. As a result, victims may be defenseless against further financial loss.

So what can you do if your identity is stolen during the government shutdown?

If your identity is stolen, the first step is to call the companies where you know the fraud occurred. Ask the fraud department to close or freeze your accounts so no new charges can be made. It is also recommended you change your passwords and PINs.

The FTC also recommends you place a fraud alert and get your credit reports. These companies can set free fraud alerts:

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